An artist, industrial designer and creative director, Miami-based Nick Alain founded the eponymous NICK ALAIN design house in 2015, continuing a rich history of hand-crafting visually-arresting residential and commercial furnishings and fixtures. Today, NICK ALAIN represents the manifestation of 40 years of award-winning design often described by critics, buyers, and editors as timeless, mechanically-elegant nouveau chic.
Born to a French artist and Spaniard developer – along with siblings who ultimately became musicians and architect – Nick Alain was raised in the fabled creative colony of Santa Fe, New Mexico, a communal artist mecca which attracted luminaries like Georgia O’Keefe and John Nieto into his family’s close social circles. Art was at the center of the family’s world; community at the center of his surrounding culture. Traveling to Europe during the summers and apprenticing at his father’s company, Alain learned the fundamentals of woodworking, welding and furniture construction by the age of 6, designing his first light fixture by the age of 7. At 9 years old, Alain’s passion for physical design was solidified, winning his first furniture design award for, of all things, a fully-electrified floor lamp fashioned from his mother’s salad bowl. A dozen years and countless drafting and furnishing fabrications later, Alain attended The Art Institute of Dallas, studying interior design and product development.
By the early 1980’s, numerous design commissions materialized in the expanding Dallas market – high-visibility hospitality projects Alain designed including nightclubs The Back Seat in 1984 and The Highland Park Night Club in 1986. By 1990, the designer had decamped to a vibrant, diverse Miami, first incorporating as a formal design house, then creative-directing Miami’s first-ever retail store for Lotto Sport, the Italian shoe and apparel company, deepening his worldview of conceptualization, interior design, interiors fabrication and construction. Visibility, accolades and reputation followed, leading Alain to design furnishings, fixtures and intimate interiors for the exceptional residences of celebrity clients Cher, Gianni Versace, Sylvester Stallone, Danny Glover, Billy Joe Armstrong (Green Day) and basketballer Alonzo Mourning. His private residential design commissions effortlessly dovetailed with his hospitality industry roots, leading Alain to numerous high-profile restaurant and lounge projects – including Rebar, The Chili Pepper, Club Nu, and Sempers – creating unforgettable, deeply-sensual communal spaces at the pinnacle of Miami Beach’s nightlife scene, an alchemy of supermodels, celebrities and international jetsetters.
As one of the key founders of Luna Bella in 1996, Nick Alain seized upon a growing desire to share his instantly-recognizable design aesthetic far beyond his wealthy Miami-centric clientele, creating and launching an exclusive line of sofas, tables, chairs, beds, cabinets, decorative accessories, and lighting. Luna Bella found immediate national success, surprising the wholesale design trade with dozens of designs that reflected romanticism, overt hand craftsmanship, and surprising juxtapositions of metal, glass, fabric and wood that whimsically evoked an interesting organic blend of sophistication and steampunk. Distribution of Luna Bella’s Alain-designed line quickly expanded into the contiguous 48 states, landing at leading, innovative, independent wholesale showrooms. Based in Miami, Luna Bella also opened and operated trade-direct showrooms in four major domestic design markets, including Atlanta, High Point NC, New York City and Las Vegas, then globally expanded the brand with international partner showrooms in Dubai, China and England. At the center of this success and growth was Alain’s passion, dedication to client services, and his insatiable desire to create a unique design language uniquely his own.
Today, with NICK ALAIN, the designer continues his tradition of unexpected aesthetics and fabrication with a dynamic, all-new line of impeccably designed furnishings and fixtures. The all-new design firm arrives with an all-new collaboration in co-founding partner Elena Solomakho, a Russian-born creative whose product and interior design sensibilities offer a fresh balance to Alain’s signature industrial design through a softer, more refined and feminine approach. Solomakho’s emergence as a artist, photographer and designer complements her Moscow upbringing in a family of intellectuals that consisted of writers and poets and deep studies into philosophy. Today, she is responsible for designing many of NICK ALAIN’S best-selling products, while further insisting that every NICK ALAIN fabrication is of impeccable precision, surpassing the level of build, fit, and finish of Alain’s previous work in ways never seen before.
But March 2017 also heralds his return to his passion as the creative director of high-profile hospitality projects, including The much-anticipated launch of The Ivey’s Boutique Hotel in Charlotte, NC, new projects in process include the Crude Club in Bakersfield CA, and At Michelle’s, an ambitious restaurant & lounge in Seattle WA. NICK ALAIN has many exciting more announcements of ground-up hotel projects launching across the US until 2022.